Storm Eunice battered the United Kingdom yesterday with the South-West bearing the brunt of the gusts that hit 122mph in exposed areas.
Some people were watching over-enthusiastic presenters cheering on near-death experiences at London airports but others, like some of our team, were on board flights due to land at regional airports around the UK.
Personally, I was on-board flight EZY6006 from Faro to Bristol which was due to land at Bristol at 12:05, and this was the first-hand experience.
The flight left Faro airport around an hour late and our captain, Mike explained that may actually work in our favour as the winds were expected to ease a little around midday.
The flight itself was uneventful but the bumps started as we descended towards Bristol Airport and then the pings, the sick bags being passed around and then the seat belt signs came on much earlier than normal.
We were onboard Airbus A321neo G-UZMJ and being an A321, it’s a much longer aircraft and that does have an impact on how it handles the wind, the pendulum (side to side) effect for example is much more than its little brother, the A320.
As were neared our final approach onto Runway 27 at Bristol Airport the turbulence got worse and the aircraft was going through a series of side to side and nose down motions as the pilots fought the conditions, and then it happened…
The noise increases suddenly, the engines go to full power and we start to climb, rather than risk safety, the pilot flying decided to go around and if I’m honest, it felt like 100% the right decision.
We then flew out north of Bristol to set up for another try, Mike informed us that another easyJet flight was on approach so he was waiting to see if they got in before either trying again or looking at other options.
We then set up for a second approach and whilst some on the flight were clearly enjoying the ride, the majority started to get a bit green under the gills.
Sick bags were asked for by many but due to the turbulence, the crew couldn’t deliver them straightaway although Fiona and her team did an amazing job of dashing out between bumps to comfort and help passengers.
The second approach was as bumpy as the first with the same rollercoaster-like movements inducing stomach-churning feelings and then a touchdown, lift, touchdown again and then the brakes come on with some urgency.
We were down and safe thanks to the amazing efforts of the flight crew who demonstrated why they are so highly trained.
Flying safely in those conditions is no mean feat and it was clear at all times that the crew on the flight deck and in the cabin had passenger safety and comfort at the very foremost in their thinking and decision making.
A real credit to easyJet and the profession as a whole and thanks to them, I am here to tell the tale of the flight that if I’m honest, was the worst flight I’ve ever had.
The landing was captured on video by Bradley Penny Aviation. Check out his YouTube channel here.